Average pay in Fremont

Firefighter: $135,957

Police officer: $117,157

Teacher: $76,436

Again these aren’t perfect. I excluded anyone  who didn’t make roughly the base salary at the start of the calendar year. Quite a few police officers and teachers made less than the base, which I took to mean they didn’t work a full year.

Scary that only 130 police officers made at least the base salary in 2008.

Also the averages are only for the rank of police officer and firefighter. The averages would have gone up if I included captains, sergeants, etc.

I don’t know if it was an error or not, but one Fremont teacher $235,9222.


100k club

In 2006, 383 Fremont city employees made more than $100,000

In 2008, that number jumped to 446.

So what percentage of city workers made more 100k?

I can’t say. More than 1,400 people are listed on the city’s salary spreadsheet, but many of those work part time or work full-time, but weren’t employed for the entire year.

Fremont’s new Human Resources director said the city had 860 full-time employees for the 2008 fiscal year, which started last July and ends June 30th. The salary numbers are for calendar year 2008 so it’s not a perfect match.

But if you figured that 446 of Fremont’s 860 full-time employees made more than $100,000 that would be about 52 percent.


Cop, firefighter pay roughly doubled over 15 years

I took a look at some of Fremont’s employee contracts going back through the years. One thing to note: Fremont uses several cities as a benchmark to determine if police and firefighters are being adequately compensated.

Fremont looks to pay an average of the top five cities in the group. All of the benchmark cities are in the immediate Bay Area except one. That one would also be the only one to have gone bankrupt: Vallejo.

It’s been 16 years since public safety officers went without a raise. During this time, their salaries have outpaced inflation. And their pension benefits have become much more generous. More on that later.

In 1994, a starting Fremont firefighter made 3,144 a month or $37,728

This year, firefighter starts out at just over $6,365 per month or $76,384

In 1994, a rookie cop made a base salary of $3,686 per month or $44,232

This year, a rookie cop starts out at just over $6,742 per month or $80,906 per year


No pay raise?

Fremont has not budgeted for employee raises this year. If the city holds firm on that, it would be the first year since 1993 that police and fire didn’t get a raise.

Both unions didn’t get a pay raise from July 1, 1991 through Dec. 31, 1993. Remember the recession that swept Clinton into office?


No incentive to stay

I didn’t  realize just how strong an incentive police and fire have to retire after 25 years (with 75 percent of the final earnings for the rest of their lives)

Police officers in Fremont get 21 vacation days from year 15 to year 26.

But after 26 years of service, they’re basically booted out.

In year 27, they only get 9 days of vacation, and

In year 28 they only get 3 vacation days.


Fremont salaries grew faster than revenue

Fremont’s union contracts expire at the end of the month. Negotiations are underway.  Two years ago, police and fire got 6 percent annual raises for two years and most other employees got 4 percent for two years.

This is far from perfect since I have salary data for calendar years and budget data for fiscal years, which start July 1.  But ….

In 2006, Fremont spent $86,953,044 on employee compensation. That doesn’t include funding pensions.

In 2008, Fremont spent $99,083,465 on employee compensation. A total increase of about $12 million.

From July 1 2006 to June 30 2007, the city had $122,960,000 in general fund revenue.

From July 1 2008 to June 30, 2009, the city estimates it will have had $127,357,000 in general fund revenue. A total increase of about $4.4 million.